Commissioner 'tries to keep it even for everybody'

Monday, December 24, 2012

By James R. Campbell

Nevada Daily Mail

One of Neal Gerster's best friends, Stanton Gammon of Walker, says Gerster is always ready to help with any worthwhile project he sees.

"A lot of people think a county commissioner works two or three days a week and the rest of the time is your time, but Neal is not that way," said Gammon, who worked with Gerster at Harwood Elevator.

"He is always going to some kind of meeting somewhere or a meeting pertinent to the county. He is row-cropping and raising cattle. He was even on the softball committee in Schell City years ago and played softball.

"You can't please everyone all the time, but I think 95 percent of the people are happy with what he's doing. He tries to keep it even for everybody in his area."

Gammon said Gerster moved weights and painted cars when Gammon was pulling trucks and racing. "Some of the guys made fun of him when he painted, but I told him not to worry because the runs would make it hold together better," said Gammon.

"We'd go deer hunting and snagging spoonbill. When Neal was a kid, he'd pick two or three gallons of blackberries to sell to neighbors for money to go to El Dorado Springs. He had to work for what he's got. He never had anything handed to him."

Gerster said Vernon County, operating on a calendar year budget, ended 2012 in the black despite weathering a year in which receipts were down from the half-cent sales tax for general revenues and half-cent tax for law enforcement, bolstered by housing out-of-county prisoners.

Working with Southern Commissioner Kennon Shaw and Presiding Commissioner Bonnie McCord, Gerster noted the county's property tax levy is 16.53 cents per $100 in valuation. "We keep to the budget and hope somebody finds a little extra and we get a windfall," he said.

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